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Glossary

Terms from A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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Abbot Abbot, Abbess: The abbot is the supervisor of a cloister which follows a rule. He is often elected by vote of the monks. An abbess supervises a cloister of nuns.
Abby A monastery under the direction of an abbot or abbess.
Administrator Under certain circumstances a prelate or bishop hired by the Pope for the administration of a diocese.
Adveniat The episcopal welfare organization founded in 1961 by the Archbishopric of Cologne with its central office in Essen. Primary tasks are to cultivate pastoral care in Latin America. Donation money is collected during Advent and Christmas and then given to the episcopal Commission for Latin America.
Alb From Latin "albus" for white. A white, shirt-like, under drapery used as a liturgical vestment.
Allonge Wig From French, a curly wig down to the shoulders which came into fashion during the time of Louis XIV.
Ambo From Greek, "to rise upward", the ambo is an elevated announcement platform in the manner of a pulpit.
Ambulatory In gothic cathedrals, the side aisle which runs through the entire east end of the church. It is often located between the inner choir and the radiating chapels.
Ancestor Test In the Late Middle Ages only those people with 16 or more noble ancestors could become member of the Cathedral Chapter in Cologne. This means that all direct ancestors back to four generations had to noble so that they could be counted. The "ancestor test" was often proved in the Cathedral by posting the coat of arms of the noble family.
Angel with Coat of Arms The representation of an angel which holds a coat of arms in his hands.
Angon A long throwing-spear with a barb and long iron shaft which grabs the wooden shaft. Typical weapon among the Franks and their eastern neighbours in the 5th-7th centuries.
Apse From Greek "rounding, arch". Ever since the 4th century the designation of the space at the end of a church. Often in form of a half circle and covered with a conche or a vault included or attached to a room. It can be polygonal or rectangular.
Arcade From Latin, a series of arches on top of supports.
Archbishop Official title of a bishop who directs an archdiocese. Also called a metropolitan. The archbishop directs the archdiocese and has the obligatory right over the preservation of belief and the maintenance of the Church order in the suffragan bishoprics. Archbishop is also, but seldom, an honorary title.
Archbishopric See ARCHIDIOCESE. The archdiocese is administered by the archbishop and forms the central area of the church province which possesses many dioceses (suffragan bishoprics). These all stand under the supervision of the archbishop. After the re-ordering of the bishopric borders after Unification, there are seven archbishoprics in Germany: Bamberg, Berlin, Freiburg, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich-Freising and Paderborn.
Archdiocese The archdiocese is administered by the archbishop and forms the central area of the church province which possesses many dioceses (suffragan bishoprics). These all stand under the supervision of the archbishop. After the re-ordering of the bishopric borders after Unification, there are seven archbishoprics in Germany: Bamberg, Berlin, Freiburg, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich-Freising and Paderborn.
Architectural Baldachin A stone covering above a figure which has richly ornament decoration. It is also a portable canopy carried above the Blessed Sacrament during a procession.
Architectural drawing/plan Designation for the architectural drawings.
Architrave A long carrying beam which rests on columns or piers.
Archivolt A part of a gothic portal, it is the arch-like stone course above the door in which figures are often placed.
Archpriest A priest elected by the priests of a deanery, and then appointed priest by a bishop. He belongs to one deanery and associated group of parishes of a diocese which he supervises and directs.
Atrium Uncovered and enclosed area, outer court of a medieval sacred building. Bordering structures, sometimes columned halls are comprised.
Augustinians (OSA) A particular monastic order from the 8th century which follows the monastic rule of Saint Augustine. They often work in spiritual care, in schools or universities. They also provide mission work. They often wear a black garment sometimes with a pointed cap and a leather belt.
Axial Chapel The central chapel of the ambulatory aligned with the axis of the church.
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Baldachin A stone covering above a figure which has rich ornamental decoration. It is also a device carried above the Blessed Sacrament during a procession.
Baptismal Pool Related to the later medieval baptismal font, this was an early basin often in the floor of a baptistery which allowed Early Christian baptisms to take place with a pouring of water over the person standing in the pool. Many different forms of baptismal piscinas follow Antique models, but only in the 5th/6th century they were clearly related to Christian use with a definite form: e.g., the octagonal piscina with the ciborium in Cologne. More often round and square versions survive from Early Christian times.
Baptistery The place of baptism. In the Early Middle Ages, this was a structure primarily used for baptism and located no more than 25 meters away from the church. It cant either be a particular place or an attachment to a church.
Baroque The period of European art between 1600 and 1750.
Barromäus Organization An organization founded in 1844 and responsible today for the public Catholic libraries with the aim to collect writings and books.
Basalt A volcanic stone.
Basilica 1. The architectural designation of a church which has windows above the central aisle and side aisles. 2. The title of a particular church which might be given to it by the Pope.
Bath (or Therm) A bathing area which could be found in Roman cities in form of public baths and in the private houses of the wealthy.
Bay The space between pillars which form either a rectangle or a square, often corresponding to a singular vault unit above. Otherwise a wooden dish for cattle.
Benedictine (OSB) Order of men and women who follow the Rule of Saint Benedict of Nursia from the 6th century. They practice intensive choir prayers, and believe in work and study. Ora et labora: work and prayer, is their motto. They usually wear black garments with a black over-garment. There are two reformed Benedictine Orders: The Trappists and the Cistercians.
Bishop From Greek "episcopos" or overseer. The highest order of Church administration in a particular area or diocese. A bishop is appointed to office by the Pope, and he functions as a follower of the apostles and directs the diocese under supervision of the Pope. A bishop wears a crucifix on his breast, a ring, carries crosier and wears a mitre.
Bishopric The territorial division of a particular administrative unit within the Church. Many bishoprics form an archbishopric. It is an area divided into parishes, regions and counties. In Germany there are 27 dioceses of the German Catholic Church, and 7 archbishoprics.
Bishop's Vicar A priest or a prelate or a consecrating bishop who acts on behalf and at the orders of a bishop, usually on special occasions and duties.
Blessed Sacrament Celebration of the Holy Mass as an integral part of Catholic worship; one of the Seven Sacraments.
Boniface Work A welfare organization founded by the German bishops in 1849. It has in the last 100 years financed 5000 churches, chapels, parish houses, schools and community halls.
Bulb Tower The crown of a tower which in its lower section bends outward and, around the center of its entire height, turns inward to form a top made of a point.
Bull Symbol for the Evangelist Luke.
Bulla Usually a round amulet capsule. The tradition to carry such an object apparently comes from Italy. It was adopted by the Germanic people and also the Franks by which, in opposition to the Etruscans and the Romans, it was primarily worn by women.
Burial Objects Much like many other cultures of the Early Christian period, the Franks also placed burial objects into their graves, even after their conversion to Christianity before the year 500. Only 200 years later does this practice disappear when new churches and cemeteries become common. The Franks usually provided their dead with definite objects from daily life, and buried their dead in the traditional costume. One often finds weapons with men and jewelry with women. Moreover food items have also been discovered up to the end of this practice; this suggests that there was an older belief system of a journey to the hereafter.
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Cabausium The last sanctuary for Marx-victims (gothic?).
Calotte A segment of a ball surface; in architecture a cupola or dome.
Cameo A semi-precious stone with relief-like carved-in images.
Canon Cathedral Canon. A member of the Cathedral Chapter.
Canon Tables Canon tables illustrate the concordance of different textual similarities among the four Gospels. In medieval manuscripts the canon tables were often decorated and placed in front of each Gospel.
Canons Member of a church society but not of a monastery; e.g. a cathedral canon.
Capital The binding element between a support (a column or a pillar) and an arch or architrave which rests above. Often capitals are richly decorated.
Capitol Temple Main temple of each Roman colony which was constructed after the temple in Rome in honor of the Capitoline Triad (Jupiter, Juno, Minerva).
Capitulary Vicar The elected priest who, during the time of a vacant seat in a cathedral chapter, leads the office until a new bishop is found.
Capuchins (OFMCap) Order which succeeded from the Franciscans in 1528 and followed the Franciscan ideal of poverty with the greatest strictness. Habit: brown cloak with a long hood and a white knitted belt.
Cardinal Next to the Pope the highest ranking Catholic church official. Cardinals stand next to the Pope in terms of the leadership of the World Church and are usually (arch) bishops. Since 1179 only cardinals have the final right to elect the Pope. They wear (cardinal) red garb.
Caritas Abbreviation for a church organization founded in 1897 as the umbrella organization of the Catholic social societies. As the largest organization of its kind in Germany it is responsible for giving aid. It has 430,000 full-time and 500,000 part-time employees, providing help for the elderly, the young, for women, hospitals, schools, social services, with well over 25,000 institutions.
Carmelites Contemplative and mystical order of brothers or sisters of the Virgin Mary of the Carmel Mountain, or the order of the Carmelites from the bare-footed brothers. This order originates in the middle of the 12th century and honours the Virgin Mary. Habit: brown drapery with a covering and a hood, but upon festive occasions a white cloak with a white hood.
Carolingian Architecture The manner of building in the time of the Carolingians, i.e. 751-911. Most important remaining monuments in Germany are: the Imperial Chapel of Charlemagne in Aachen and the Torhalle in the area of the former monastery complex of Lorsch.
Carthusians (Ocart) Order of Saint Bruno, founded in the year 1084, whose rule required of the members continual silence, prayer, manual labor and no meat. Habit: white cloak with a white leather belt and a white covering with a hood.
Cartouche A shield-like area surrounded by an ornamental frame on which there are usually inscriptions or coats of arms.
Caryatid In Greek antiquity a female, often free-standing piece of sculpture, whose purpose was to hold up a vertical beam. The weight was carried through a basket-like pillow on the head. The name is thought to have come from the Persian War on which occasion the Greeks took female slaves from the city of Karya. The male counterparts of caryatids are called atlantes.
Castellation Fortified military structure.
Catechism Catechism is the teaching of Christian beliefs which serves the religious instruction for church, family and school.
Cathedra The exercise of the office in Antiquity was tied to a particular seat. The sovereign prince sat on a throne, the judge on a teaching chair, and the teacher on a "cathedral". In this tradition there were also teaching and confession chairs. The bishop ascended the "cathedra" after beginning his office. From here he taught the Gospels.
Cathedral Association A union of private individuals who freely provide funds for the maintenance of a cathedral. The Central Cathedral Association was founded in 1840 and brought in 2/3 of the money needed to complete the construction of the Cathedral. It also carries this responsibility today.
Cathedral Capitulary Cathedral canon, member of the cathedral chapter.
Cathedral Chapter With legal capacity, a spiritual body with its own laws. The Cathedral Chapter administers the cathedral. It is entrusted with the celebratory Mass in the cathedral church. The Cathedral Chapter collaborates with the diocese and has electoral power when the bishop has to be replaced.
Cathedral Dean The cathedral dean, often a suffragan bishop, entrusted with pastoral care in the cathedral chapter.
Cathedral Provost Often the cathedral dean or a dignitary of a cathedral chapter.
Cathedral Workshop The workshop of the stone masons of a cathedral, but also the institution which is responsible for the construction and maintenance of the cathedral.
Catholic This concept refers to the spatial and temporal universal mission of the Church.
Celibacy The Church regulated decree of abstinence and celibacy required of priests and members of an Order.
Cenotaph Honorary grave for someone deceased whose bones are buried elsewhere.
Central Risalite The area in the middle of the facade, which projects from the vanishing line and becomes accentuated.
Chancellor Person working in the curia (also from the laity) who cares mainly for the orderly execution and storage of files. The chancellor is often simultaneously a notary and the secretary of the curia.
Chapel A spiritual place for prayer, usually a small church (without parish rights), or also a section of a larger church.
Chaplain Priest who stands at the side of the parish priest ready to help him and act as a representative.
Chapter With legal capacity, a spiritual body with its own laws. The cathedral chapter administers the cathedral. It is entrusted with the celebratory Mass in the cathedral church. The cathedral chapter collaborates with the diocese and as the electoral power when the bishop has to be replaced.
Chapter A community of clerics with their own property and their own laws.
Chasuble The liturgical outer garment of the Catholic priest.
Choir The part of the church where the main altar and the area for the clerics is located. It was designated in the Middle Ages by the choir-stalls. Usually located at the east, the choir ends in a half-round space.
Choir Head The chevet.
Choir Pillar Figures The statues of Christ, Mary and the 12 apostles located on the pillars in the choir of the Cologne Cathedral and covered with baldachins.
Choir Screen The wall which is located between the inner choir and the ambulatory. It is usually made of stone and, as in Cologne, is often decorated with painting, or even sculpture.
Choir Stalls The seats placed in the choir or the inner choir for the clerics.
Choir-screen A sort of barrier between the choir and the nave, often depicted as a stage, under which stands an altar, and whose upper side can be reached by stairs where there is space for music and readings.
Christ in Majesty A representation of Christ as the leader of the world.
Church Province The archdiocese is administered by the archbishop and forms the central area of the church province which possesses many dioceses (suffragan bishoprics). These all stand under the supervision of the archbishop. Upon the re-ordering of the bishopric borders after Unification, seven archbishoprics were formed in Germany: Bamberg, Berlin, Freiburg, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich-Freising and Paderborn.
Church Year Begins with Advent and refers to the sequence of Church feasts such as Christmas, Purification of the Virgin, Ash Wednesday, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Pentecost, Corpus Christi, all of which affect the course of the year.
Ciborium Decorative roof on supports, emphazising the site and, at the same time, fullfilling practical functions: suspending a bowl for the ceremony of baptism, e.g.
Cistercians New order established in 1119 as a return to strict following of the Benedictine Order, finding its greatest popularity under Saint Benedict of Clairvaux (1091-1153). Tremendous expansion such that over 700 monasteries had been established by the 14th century. The Cistercians developed in their buildings a very sparse yet famous style in architecture. Adept at agriculture and manufacture, they contribute even today to the life of the Church with, e.g., having placed 2 popes, 44 cardinals, and around 600 bishops. They wear white garments of the order with a black wrap.
Claustrum Closed living quarters of a cleric society.
Clerestory The uppermost level of the central nave wall of a basilica, where windows are located.
Clergy Refers to the state of the spiritual members, particularly deacons, priests and bishops. The acceptance into the clergy occurs with deacon inauguration. All other believers are classified as the laity.
Clerics Refers to the rank of the spiritual members, particularly deacons, priests and bishops. The acceptance into the clergy occurs with deacon inauguration. All other believers are classified as the laity.
Cloister The covered walkway of the interior court of a monastery.
Clovis Born 466, died 27th Nov. 511. Chlodwig took over the regency from his father Childerich, a small Merovingian kingdom in Belgian Tournai. After his victory over Syagrius in 486/87, the last representative of Rome in Gaul, and in 496/97 over the Alemannians, as well as the elimination of other small Frankish kingdoms, Clovis became around 500 the founder of the Frankish kingdom. At the same time he accepted the Catholic faith and thereby influenced the future fate of Europe to a large extend.
CM (abbreviation) Abbreviation for the Vincentians or the Lazarists.
Codex Iuris Canonici (CIC) The book of Church law. Contains the laws of the Catholic Church and was first set into power in 1917. New edition: 1983.
Coffer A deepened area of the ceiling.
Collection The collection of voluntary gifts during Mass for the benefit of the church or charitable purposes. The tradition of collection reaches far back into the early church.
Compound Pillar/Pillar Cluster The support elements from the vault which run downwards forming bundles of pillars. They illustrate the direction of the thrust of the vault.
Conche Any kind of half-rounded niche.
Conclave The place in which the Cardinals meet in private for the election of a Pope.
Concordat An agreement between Church (Pope) and state, esp. between the Roman Seat and a secular government relative to matters that concern both. The Imperial Concordat from 20th of July 1933 regulated, for example, questions such as the position of the clergy, the placement of officials and questions of church schools and education.
Confession Established state-church concept for churches with their own declared denominations and their own spiritual doctrine; for example, Evangelical and Catholic faiths are different confessions.
Congregation A monasterial group which, in contrast to the orders, agrees to unite themselves by so called plain vows.
Console A platform or support often made of wood, stone or iron which serves to support different building sections (shafts, arches, cornices) or also accommodates sculpture. The console is depicted in a sculptural manner with foliage work, angels or even animal forms.
Convent The assembly of monks in a monastery, often called a chapter.
Council Usually applied to general councils, i.e. those called together by an invitation to the church at large, to discuss questions of belief and the Church. Also the assembly of all Catholic bishops from a particular country, a defined bishop's synod, or a diocese synod.
Crocketing Crawling flower or leaf ornamentation which climbs upward.
Crook The bent top of a bishop's crosier or abbot's staff. These canes refer to the pastoral care of the user.
Crossing The vaulted square where the central nave and the transept intersect. The adjacent sections of the transept axis are called the transept arms. When these do not correspond to the height of the vaults then they are called transept aisles. See also TRANSEPT
Crossing Tower The tower placed above the crossing.
Crypt The lower level in a church, particularly during the Romanesque period. Early forms have a rounded apse with a following passage (ring crypt). In Cologne we have often hall crypts which have equal height of stone vaults in all aisles.
Crypt (Ring) A ringed crypt is the lower level (basement) in a church, specifically in Romanesque period. An early has a rounded apse with connected passages. In Cologne these are usually hall crypts which have the same height in all aisles and are designed with stone vaults. See CRYPT
CSsR Abbreviation for the Congregation of the Redemptionists.
Cube (cubical) Dice or dice-shaped.
Curia Central administrative office for the Pope (Roman Curia) or of a bishop (Diocese Curia).
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Dalmatic A liturgical garb of a deacon which is worn during festive occasions, even by the bishop.
Deacon Takes care of the soul and has particular duties in a church: preaching, administration of the sacrament, church funerals and baptism. The consecration of a deacon is conferred by the bishop. It is an intermediary step to the priesthood, an independent office which is available to men after 35 years of age.
Dean The leader (Dean) of a collective group of parishes in a diocese. Once chosen by the parishes, a dean is appointed priest by the bishop.
Deanery The area administered by a dean, a deanery is a part of the diocese which represents a number of parishes within it.
Definitor An officer in a chapter of certain monastic orders, entrusted with the "definition" or decision regarding discipline.
Dendrochronological A method used to determine the age of a piece of wood. It is a method used by many archaeologists of all periods to determine within half a century the particular date when a tree was cut down. The age is determined by counting the number of rings in the wood: one ring equals one year. The system is not as accurate and for that reason a date is given with a +/- symbol meaning that the date could be earlier as well as later within about 50 years.
Diaspora The designation of a confessional minority which lives in the area of another religious majority.
Diocese The territorial division of a church administrative unit. See DIOCESE
Diocese Administrative Council Administrative organization whose members are appointed by the bishop. It works largely with financial matters and gives advice and makes decisions.
Diocese Tax Advisory Committee Committee which determines how the tax of the church is to be spent. Run by the bishop or the general vicar.
Dominicans (OP) An order founded by Saint Dominic in 1216 with the main purpose of preaching (OP=order praedicatorum). Of this group came many famous learned men such as Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas. Clothing: white gown with a white hat (sisters wear a black coat and veil).
Dormitorium Sleeping hall.
Dorsal The back wall of a choir stall.
Double Chapel Two chapels on top of each other, bound together by a central opening.
Dove Symbolic figure of the Holy Spirit.
Drapery (Cloth of Honor) Decoration made out of patterned textiles. In painting, for example, often used as a motive in the background.
Drollery From French "drôle" = funny, various representations of men or animals or mythical creatures in painting, sculpture and applied arts. They have educational as well as supporting function, e.g., they warn of human vice. Through drolleries profane and folkish, even socially criticizing aspects are represented in medieval art.
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Eagle The symbol for John the Evangelist.
Ecumenism In general use this word refers to the unification attempts of different Christian churches and confessions. The idea of Ecumenism was founded in Amsterdam in 1948 by the Ecumenical Council.
Elector One of seven of the participating spiritual or lay imperial dukes at the election of the German kings.
Elevation The raising of the Eucharist and the chalice by a priest during Mass.
Embankment Street A street which runs between the fortification wall of a city and the residential buildings.
Eminence The form of address of a cardinal.
Enamel Painting Enamel is a technique used to add coloured ornamentation to metal through the help of melting paste. In enamel painting a coloured depiction originates when the different enamel colours are placed next to each other and melted together on a metal plate.
Encyclical Since the 7th century, the circulating writings of the Pope in which general questions regarding church doctrine are put into official question.
Episcopacy The bishop's office, or the entirety of Catholic bishops.
Epitaph A memorial of someone deceased. There are different forms: from a simple inscription plaque to a panel with a picture of the deceased to a large scene with figures.
Estrich A poured and jointless floor made of clay or cement.
Eucharist The celebration of the Holy Mass as a central function of the catholic service; one of the 7 sacraments.
Eucharist or Host The celebration of the Holy Mass as a central function of the catholic service; one of the 7 sacraments.
Evangelistary The collection of the gospels with the description of the Life of Christ and dogmatic messages.
Excellence Form of address of a bishop.
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Father Cleric from an order who has entered priesthood.
Finial Typical gothic crown for high-reaching building sections. Usually made of a thin stem, four large leaves grow out of it. It forms the shape of a cross or a + sign.
Fish-Form tracery A typical tracery form in which two or more circles are placed together and thereby form tear-shaped designs.
Floral Plant-like.
Flying Buttress or Strut A stone arch which is part of a flying buttress. The strut connects to the clerestory wall on the exterior and extends down to the pillar buttress of the cathedral perimeter. The strut carries the weight of the vault as well as supports the walls of the cathedral during wind.
Fortune or Luck Roman goddess of destiny and luck.
Francisc A throw battle-axe used by the Franks in the 6th century.
Franciscans (OFM) The order founded in 1223 by Saint Francis of Assisi. Their special attributes are denial of property ownership. Their main duties are pastoral care, missionary work, education and science. Habit: brown woolen coats with a hood and sandals.
Franks (Frankish) West German group of people who are documented in Roman sources already in the 3rd century after Christ. Originally located on the Lower Rhine, they continually advanced into the Roman Empire until they could establish themselves in many areas. They entered into contracts with the Romans. This allowed them to keep their small kingdoms as well as become officers of the Roman army. At the end of the West Roman Empire the Franks took their supremacy in the rest of continental NW Europe.
Free Archbishops A decorative tracery element which hangs under an arch before a window or another opening.
Free Stairs External steps which remain uncovered.
Fresco (Technique) Painting technique. Calcium-based pigment ground into water and then painted on a fresh (Italian "fresco") moist layer of plaster. The colour is absorbed by the plaster and once dry is bound to it permanently.
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Gable A thin decorative triangular form above a window or on the side of a console or baldachin.
Gargoyle The very end of a drainage system projecting over the side wall of a Gothic cathedral and often decorated with fantastic animals such as mythical monsters. Water usually flows through their mouths from their throats, and thereby related to the word gargle.
Gem Semi-precious stone with deeply carved in depictions.
General Vicar General representative of the bishop in spiritual matters and in capital affairs. The general vicar is appointed by the bishop and his office ends with that of his bishop.
General Vicariate General administrative officials of the diocese under the direction of the general vicar. The general vicariate is often divided into sections such as: the World Church, the mission, pastoral care, school, advanced school, personnel, construction and preservation, law, finance and general administration. Here the vicariate is active in the area of leadership, organization and supervision (particularly in relation to the church councils).
Genius A protective spirit originating from the Roman religion. Often represented as a small, winged, man-like being or a child.
German Bishop's Conference Administration in Bonn. Committee for pastoral care in Germany, it makes decisions which effect all of the German dioceses and maintains contact with the conferences in other countries.
Gothic The architecture of the High Middle Ages, which developed around the mid-twelfth century out of Romanesque architecture, later becomes the pinnacle of medieval architecture. This style ends in the 16th century, but is already dissolved in Italy by around 1450 with the inauguration of the Renaissance in that country.
Gregory of Tours Born 30th of November 538 or 539 as Georgius Florentius. Died the 17th of November 594 (?). Came from a noble Roman family which had already placed many bishops. 573 he himself was named as Bishop of Tours, today part of France. Along with numerous writings, he also wrote the fundamental History of the Franks in 10 books, which until today remains the most important Frankish historical source.
Grisaille Painting Painting with monochrome, grey colors. This designation is also used for the similar painting with green or brown paint. Often this technique is used in painting to imitate the appearance of stone sculpture.
Guild Collective union of industrial trades people and craftsman in the Middle Ages.
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Hall Church A church which has side aisle and nave vaults all at the same height.
High Central Nave Vaults The vaults of the central nave of a basilica; in opposition to the lower side aisle vaults.
High Cross A high pinnacle which functions as sort of a monument, taken from the church structure, which stands at an open market, a cemetery or at a street intersection
High Gothic The developped Gothic style which replaced the Early Gothic from about 1210.
High Mass The main church service on Sunday, often with choir accompaniment.
Historicism A return to different stylistic directions, particularly to architecture of the 19th century.
Holy Oil Oil which is used in the Catholic liturgy for anointment, among other things, the rites of baptism, anointing of the sick and ordination to the priesthood.
Holy Relics Relics or pictures in a church space, whose veneration gives heavenly favor.
Host or Eucharist Made out of a bland white dough into round slices of bread which are consecrated during Mass by a priest and offered to the faithful as the body of Christ.
Hypocaust Floors heated with warm air. During the Roman times usually located in baths and also located in houses.
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Iconography A descriptive survey of depictions in art. These descriptions are usually done by the help of literary sources such as the Old and New Testaments. Also the interpretation of the content of images.
Inauguration Introduction into an official office.
Incense An aromatic resin or plant product, or a combination of fragrant gums and spices, which when heated with glowing coal, burns and produces a sweet smell. Used during the celebration of Mass.
Incense-burner An object in which incense is burned and sometimes swung during the celebration of Mass to circulate the smoke.
Inner Choir The area of the east end which is contained within the ambulatory of a church. Often choir stalls, the choir screen and the main altar are located here. It is usually an area markedly divided from the rest of the east end.
Insignia Official items of clerical dignitaries, such as the breast crucifix of an archbishop.
Intarsia Layered work of differently coloured materials (wood, stone, ivory) which are put together to form ornamental or figurative patterns.
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Jambs Inner surfaces of window and portal frames.
Jesuits (SJ), Society of Jesus A member of the "Society of Jesus", a Roman Catholic order founded by Ignatius of Loyola in 1533, and sanctioned by Paul IV in 1540. They have a strict educational system and devote themselves to science. They administer good schools and have established their own universities. The Jesuits have played an important role in the world mission. They wear no particular habit, usually they are dressed in the clothing of priests.
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Keystone In the center point of an arch or a vault is the keystone. In gothic vaults it was especially decorated with foliage, figures and coats of arms.
KNA Abbreviation for the Catholic News Agency with its seat in Bonn.
Kolpingwerk, Internationales Founded by the priest Adolf Kolping in 1846/49 with the aim to provide religious and moral support to manual laborers in organized societies and to support their claim for social equality. Kolping became hereby the founder of Catholic social thought. The Kolpingwerk is today an international lay organization and understands itself as one large family whose members organize a life-accompanying society.
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Laity Believers. See CLERICS
Laity Space The area accessible to the general believers or laity, in opposition to the presbytery.
Late Antique Ending period of the Roman Empire. Often thought of as the period between Diocletian (284) and the last Roman emperor of the West, Romulus Augustulus (476).
Late Gothic A particular phase of the Gothic period, the Late Gothic dates to about 1350 to 1580 and has characteristic forms which define it.
Late Romanesque The last period of the dominate Romanesque style in art and architecture. Regionally distinguished, in Germany this period lasted from about 1025 to 1250. In Cologne and the surrounding areas, this period brought many excellent buildings around 1170. By this time in France, however, the Gothic style had already replaced the Late Romanesque.
Lazarists Congregation founded in 1624 by Vinzenz von Paul in Paris for the purposes of pastoral care, missionary work and education of priests. See VINCENTIANS
Liberal Arts In Antiquity and the Middle Ages, the 7 liberal arts formed the essential education in a monastery, cathedral school or medieval university. They comprise the Trivium: Grammar, Dialectic and Rhetoric; and the Quadrivium: Arithmetic, Geometry, Music and Astronomy.
Lion Symbol of the Evangelist Mark.
Liturgist Priest who holds the Mass.
Liturgy (liturgical) Designation for the Mass.
Lord A lord, count or an earl from the Carolingian period. A typical representative of a noble official office who administered a particular area or fiefdom. The count was chosen by the emperor and had both military and political obligations, as well as financial obligations.
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Man of Sorrows The representation of Christ which shows the stigmata and the instruments of the Passion.
Mandorla An almond-shaped form with radiating or illuminated light surrounding an entire image of Christ of Mary.
Manufacture Early industrial trade enterprise whose products were made in mass production according to the division of labor.
Mausoleum A monumental and decorative funerary structure named after the monument of King Mausolos in Halicarnassos (Bodrum, Turkey) and one of the 7 wonders of the world.
Mensa The top surface of a Christian altar.
Merovingian Period Archeologically defined period between the middle of the 5th century to the middle of the 8th century. Ends in 751 with the coronation of Childerich III who was deposed from the first Carolingian, Pippin III.
Merovingians Most important noble family of the Franks whose oldest representative probably belongs to the fourth century. The second representative is important for the name: Merowech. At least since the middle of the 5th century, they had many small kings until Clovis was able to found his own Frankish Empire. In the 8th century they were followed by the Carolingians, their most famous representative being Charlemagne.
Metropolitan Official title of a bishop who directs an archdiocese. Also called a metropolitan. The archbishop directs the archdiocese and has the obligatory right over the preservation of belief and the maintenance of the Church order in the suffragan bishoprics. Archbishop is also, but seldom, an honorary title. See ARCHBISHOP
Minorites Also Franciscans. The order founded in 1223 by Saint Francis of Assisi. Their special attributes are denial of property ownership. Their main duties are pastoral care, missionary work, education and science. Habit: brown woolen coats with a hood and sandals.
Miracle-Working Picture Painted or carved image of a heavenly person or a saint deemed to be miraculous by believers. Inside churches they were often placed in a special location and displayed in a highly artistic manner.
Misereor Incited by Cardinal Frings in 1958, Misereor was founded with its seat in Aachen as an episcopal welfare organization against hunger and sickness in the world. It is the section for the developmental work in the Church with the premise to establish self-help. Misereor encourages the faithful to minimize their consumption for the benefit of the poor. The traditional collection of Misereor takes place during Lent.
Misericord Consoles on the underside of the folding seats in a choir stall. With the help of these sitting supports a person can lean while standing. The misericords are often decorated with drolleries. See DROLLERIES
Missio Papal organisation founded in 1832 for spreading the Faith. 104 missions around the world. In Germany it is the International Catholic Mission Work, e.V., which has seats in Aachen and Munich to which 1.1 million members belong (1/10th of all practicing Catholics).
Missionary (Mission Work) The preaching of the gospel among non-christian people (external mission) or in non-christian areas (internal mission). Mission work is an old Christian task (Mt. 28, 18-20).
Mitre A bishop's hat. The liturgical head covering of a bishop and other high clerics.
Moderator The designation of a priest who undertakes the leadership of a pastoral care division formed of different parish communities.
Monk A man, who out of religious reasons lives an ascetic life in a cloistered society which demands residence, celibacy and obedience. Monks usually belong to a particular order. The form of address for monks who are also priests is Pater/Father + Christian Name. Otherwise Frater/Brother + Christian name.
Monogram The initials of the first and last name of a person.
Monsignor Chaplain of the Pope, a honorary title given by the Pope for one of the clerics. Monsignor is one of the three forms of an honorary title of a prelate.
Monstrance A large object in which the Eucharist is placed behind crystal or glass. Monstrances were made since the Middle Ages with the greatest artistic skill.
Mosaic Colourful floor, wall, and vault decoration with all thinkable pictorial forms made of Tessellae. Reached ist peak during Antiquity, but also common during the early Middle Ages, especially in Byzantium and, after Charlemagne, in Western Europe. The choir mosaic of the floor of Cologne Cathedral from the 19th and 20th century are excellent examples of this art, executed like in ancient times.
Mullion Work Tracery forms made of singular sections (mullions) which are placed on portals, windows, balustrades and also on altars; used since the Gothic period.
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Nave Central nave, in general, the space for the laity.
Nave The central space between the nave walls, two rows of supports, or one row and a wall of a church. The expression was used already in Antiquity: Greek "naus" = ship (central vessel) and "naos" = tempe sounding quite similar.
Nave (Central Nave) In churches with three or more aisles, the main or central aisle.
Nazarene Originally a mocking name given to members of a group of German artists called the Brotherhood of St. Luke, founded in 1809, who aimed to restore to art the religious quality found in medieval painting. The name comes from the painter in fashion at that time, Raphael, who was already named "alla nazarena". Their artistic models were early Italian and old German painting.
Neo-Gothic A stylistic manner based on medieval Gothic, above all found in the architecture of the 19th century.
Net Vault A Late Gothic vault with many different ribs ordered in such a manner that between them surfaces of about the same size (square) remain.
Nimbus A round, often golden disc behind the head of a person. It is a sign that the person is important, in medieval context that he is a saint.
Nun Woman from an order. A member of a women's order. Called: Sister (+ Christian Name).
Nuntius, Apostolic Diplomatic representative of the Pope in a state administration on the level of an ambassador. The nuntius in Germany as well as in other countries is the Doyen, or the speaker of the diplomatic body.
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Ocart Abbreviation for the Order of the Carthusians.
Ocists Abbreviation for the Order of the Cistercians.
OCR Abbreviation for the Order of the Trappists.
Ocram Abbreviation for the Order of the Carmelites.
OFM Abbreviation of the Order of the Franciscans.
OFMCap Abbreviation of the Capuchins.
OP Abbreviation of the Order of the Dominicans
Order Community of persons which live together in a Christian motivated form of life.
Order of the Knights Order of the Knights.
Ordinariat Office in a diocese.
Ordination Consecration, ordination to the priesthood, beginning of an office.
OSA Abbreviation for the Order of the Augustinians.
OSB Abbreviation for the Benedictine Order.
OSU Abbreviation for the Order of Saint Ursula.
Ottonian Architecture Architecture and art during the time of the Ottonian emperors (after Otto the Great), 919-1024.
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Palatial Chapel A small church in a royal or episcopal residence or administrative seat.
Pallotines (SAC) Vincent Pallotti (1795­1850), an Italian priest, founded in 1835 the Society of the Catholic Apostolate for internal and external mission. A branch for women was established in 1843.
Papal Missionary Work Under the motto "Children help children" this welfare organization, established in 1846 with its seat in Aachen, meets for many activities, especially the "star singers" and donations.
Parchment Dried animal skin used for writing and painting.
Parish Section of the diocese which is formed through the establishment of a parish office. The parish is lead by a priest. It is also a spiritual body with the result that each church member, depending on his place of residence, belongs to a particular parish. It also possesses the body of public right and the capacity to be a legal and capital holder. The administration of the parish is obligated to the parish council under the direction of the priest. The other activities of the parish belong to the duties of the parish community.
Parish Association Earlier, a union of independently remaining parishes to which united and efficient duties were assigned through statutes. These were organized by the bishop in agreement with the appropriate dean. Today they form the pastoral divisions.
Parish Council The elected committee of the parish which coordinates, organizes and encourages the religious and charitable activities of the parish.
Parish Vicar Also a parish curia. A person acting as priest in a parish in place of the real parson or rector as needed, yet when not all of the requirements for the establishment of a parish have been fulfilled.
Pastor Pastoral representative in the Catholic church who also carries the designation of a priest.
Pastoral Care The decline in the number of Catholics and the number of priests result in a new organization of pastoral care. Many parishes were combined into pastoral care units yet do not loose their independence. For a pastoral care unit there is currently a precise personnel description so that usually at least to clerics with a deacon, for example, and other parish- or pastoral assistants carry out pastoral care.
Pastoral Letter Writing of a bishop containing the explanations and questions of life and of faith, usually addressed to the faithful.
Pastoral Referent A person from the laity who has been appointed to work in a parish in the area of pastoral care and organizational matters.
Patron Saint Saint whom one entrusts (guardian angel); the saint whose name one has is ones patron saint. A parish church carries the name of a parish- or church-patron on whose day the community celebrates.
Pectoral Breast crucifix which is worn by catholic priests.
Pectoral The cross for the breast of a bishop, or since the 11th century, the usual cloak clasp which becomes more and more decorated in the course of time. As decoration scene representations, tracery, ornament and precious stones are used.
Personnel Schematic A handbook produced each year by a diocese which shows all of the active people in the church, its institutions and its organization.
Phial Bulbous bottle with a long neck.
Phrygian A white, cone-shaped hat which was used from the 8th century on as a non-liturgical head covering of the pope. Later developped into the tiara.
Pier Buttress A buttress placed before the wall in order to support it. In a Gothic structure they support the weight of the vault. They are placed at the perimeter or at the edge of the side aisle, behind which they attach to a strut. This strut then attaches to the wall. Together they form the flying buttress.
Pieta A special form of a devotional image which illustrates Mary with the dead Christ on her lap. It receives its name from the Good Friday vesper services (Latin vesper = evening). A pieta is an image which incites devotion for the redeeming wounds of Christ.
Pilaster A wall pillar with a base and a capital.
Pilaster Strip Slightly projecting, vertical strip which supports the wall, often without a base or capital; many pilasters are often joined above by arches.
Pinnacle A very thin tower-like shape from a Gothic structure. Pinnacles are usually located on top of pillar buttresses as well as on decorative sculpture such as baldachins, consoles, etc. The pinnacle is usually topped by a finial.
Pluvial A choir cloak; a large half circular cloak which is held together in the front by a clasp.
PMK Papal Missionswerk for Children in Germany.
Pointed Arch An arch which is formed of two circles which meet in a point; it is the most recognizable form of the Gothic style.
Polygonal Choir Polygonal chevet.
Pontifex A member of the principal college of priests in ancient Rome, the head of which was the Pontifex Maximus or chief priest (since 445 after Christ).
Pontificalia The festive vestments and objects of bishops. These are: mitre, pluvial, gloves, shoes, bishops crosier, cross and ring.
Pontificate The office of the Pope.
Pope Pope is the designation for the bishop of Rome, the representative of Christ, the successor of the Apostle Peter, the highest director of the Church, the patriarch of the Occident, Primas of Italy, and Archbishop and Metropolitan of the church province in Rome. He is the sovereign of Vatican City. The title comes from the Greek, "pappas", documented since the 2nd half of the 4th century, which was a title for abbots, bishops and patriarchs.
Portal Large door.
Praefurnium The heating room or the place for fire, in particular: a Roman hypocaustum (heating unit).
Praeses The spiritual executive of a church organization, sometimes also the designation of a spiritual assistant from a secular organization.
Praetorium Administrative building. In Cologne the seat of the Roman governor for the province of Lower Germany and since the 1st century on the location of the modern town hall of Cologne.
Prelate An ecclesiastical dignitary of exalted rank and authority, as a bishop, archbishop, metropolitan, or patriarch. Usually the prelate is an honorary title for priests divided into three levels: apostolic pronator, honorary prelate of His Holiness, chaplain of His Holiness (monsignor).
Presbyter From Greek, "the eldest", another word for priest.
Presbytery A private area of the church, usually the choir and the location of the (high) altar.
Priest or Pastor The person in charge of a parish. The priest is contracted by the bishop as a teacher and leader of his parish community to spread the word of God and to issue the sacraments. For these tasks in a larger parish a chaplain and a subsidiary is provided, and for a small parish a dean is provided as an aid. The priest is the superior of the parish employees, he also administers the parish and holds the chair of the parish council.
Primicer The first Mass which the Catholic priest celebrates in his home parish after his inauguration.
Prior The representative of an abbot in a monastery with an abbot declaration, otherwise the leader of a monastery.
Profess The celebratory declaration of one entering a religious order for complete membership of that order.
Protective Cloak The protective cloak is found primarily with the Madonna, but also can be used with other saints. Maria herself, or with the help of angels, opens her cloak for those seeking help at her feet. The protective cloak alludes to the medieval tradition that those in high positions or women were allowed to give help to those without rights or needing protection.
Protonotary, Apostolic A member of the college of twelve (formerly seven) prelates, called Protonotaries Apostolic, whose function is to register the papal acts, to make and keep records. Formerly also a title of certain papal envoys. See PRELATE
Provincial Representative of an order province.
Provost From Latin, "praepositus" = superior. The head of a chapter, or of a community of religious persons, or the chief dignitary of a cathedral or collegiate church.
Putto A small, naked child, often with wings.
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Quatrefoil A tracery form made of four circular shapes placed next to each other.
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Radiating Chapels The ambulatory located around the inner choir (side aisle) on whose exterior side small choirs, called chapels, connect. The classic cathedrals usually have seven chapels.
Redemptorists (CSsR) Congregation founded in 1732 consisting of priests and brothers with a seat in Rome, they dedicate themselves to pastoral care and mission work.
Regional Dean The priest who supervises a region such as Aachen and Trier as part of a diocesis.
Relics The bodily remains of saints, as well as objects which came into contact with them. Relics may be venerated and grant favor to the believers.
Relief Manner of sculpting by which representations are not completely three-dimensional, rather project from the background.
Relief Decoration Decoration by deepening or building of lines or surfaces on an even plane.
Reliquary A shrine for the storage and exhibition of relics, mostly made of expensive precious metals and decorated with precious jewels.
Reliquary Bust Sculptural half-figure or a representation down to the level of the breast, usually of a saint and made of wood, stone, etc. The relics of saints are stored inside the bust.
Renaissance French, from Italian "rinascimento" = re-birth. Artistic period which begins in Italy around 1420 and continues to the Baroque around 1600.
Render Administrator of a church treasury in a parish community.
Renovabis Solidarity action of German Catholics for Central and Eastern Europe. Renovabis was founded in 1993 from the German Bishop's Conference. The funds are used for the construction of a Church life, as well as for education, youth work programs and social services in Central and Eastern Europe.
Rhyton Drinking vessel of the Franks, made of glass with a rounded bottom and ends in a cone-shape or a point. The vessel cannot be stood while filled, but rather needs to be emptied and then laid down.
Rib Vaults (or Cross Vault) The standard gothic vault with which the ribs cross each other as in rectangle. This crossing point is often emphasized with a keystone.
Ribs (ribs of a vault): A strengthening of the vault line, or of a line, at the two intersections vault surfaces, usually forming a stone profile and through which the mass of the vault is transferred to the capitals and then to the floor. The ribs always cross each other diagonally and are usually weaker than the transverse arch.
Rococo French, "rocaille" for shell-work, the Rococo was a decorative style at the end of the Baroque period (circa 1730-1780).
Roman Roman designates today the population during the time of Roman rule in the provinces and the mixture of "indigenous" with the new people, including the Romans and their followers, but also the immigrants in other sections of the Empire. Their style of life was completely aligned with those of the Romans.
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SAC Abbreviation of the Pallotines.
Sacrament House An extremely elaborate housing, usually made of wood, in which the vessel of the Eucharist is stored. Since the 16th century this was replaced by a tabernacle which stood on the altar.
Sacraments The Catholic Church has 7 sacraments: Baptism represents the entrance to the church. The First Communion is mostly for children in primary school and introduces the Eucharist and participation with the body and blood of Christ. Confession allows the acknowledgement and absolution of sins by a priest. The sacrament of Confirmation is bestowed through a bishop for the reception of the Holy Spirit as assistance for individual responsibility of a person (adulthood). Marriage takes place before a priest with a bride and groom and represents the beginning of a joint life. The sacrament of order is granted by the hand of a bishop to bestow the order to a deacon, priest or bishop. Finally the sacrament of extreme unction is given to anoint the old, sick and dying and provide strength.
Sacristy Side room of a church which is used to store liturgical objects and vestments, as well a place where the priest dresses for the Mass.
Salvator (Savior of the World) "Savior of the World" (from Latin), the representation of Christ enthroned with a right hand raised in blessing and a ball with a cross in his left indicating his power.
Salvatorian (SDS) Catholic congregation founded in 1881 for interior and exterior missions.
Sarcophagus From Greek, "flesh eater", a coffin made of stone which was in the Early Middle Ages a sign of rich burials due to the high cost for creation and transport.
Schematic A handbook produced mostly each year by a diocese which shows all of the active people in the church, its institutions and its organization. See PERSONNEL SCHEMATIC
Schola cantorum Since Late Antiquity the designation for the papal singing school and its choir. In the Early Middle Ages often a rectangular area which reached from the presbytery into the room for the laity.
Scholasticism From Latin, schola = school, the dominant science and theology up to the 15th century. Scholasticism sought to reconcile rationality of natural thought with the teachings of the Church Fathers.
SDB 1857 founded Catholic congregation for the continuation for the youth work begun in 1841 by Don Bosco.
SDS Abbreviation for the Congregation of the Salvatorians.
Secularization The dissolution of consecrated, spiritual things or people and the secularization of Church organizations (collegiates, monasteries, etc.) and their profane use.
Seminary A residential and care home operated as a church organization which serves the community life and the ascetic education of theology students.
Seraph (Seraphim) Angels with six wings, hands and feet, and a human voice, seen in Isaiah’s vision as hovering above the throne of God.
Shrine Usually a wooden case which, when it houses relics, is often covered with precious metal and stones. A shrine can also refer to the fixed, central part of a winged altar.
Side Aisle The space in a church which is divided by a row of supports alongside the central nave.
SJ Abbreviation for the Jesuit Order.
Snake One of the many appearances of Satan. Also, a long line of people at large events in the Cathedral.
Soft Style The leading stylistic phase for the period 1400/1430 found in art, but especially in sculpture.
Spandrel The triangular space between the curve of an arch and the rectangle formed by the moldings around it.
Spire A small tower (or flèche) at the roof line of a cathedral or church, usually at the crossing or the choir. Sometimes bells are hung here.
Sprengel Old German term which designates a clerical administrative area (parish, diocese).
Stall An individual section of the choir stalls which is comprised of the seat and the stringer or the knobs.
Steyler Missionaries (SVD) Society of the Word of God, a congregation of priests for mission work founded in 1875.
Strawberry Plant of paradise as well as the food of the blessed.
Stringer The side wall of chairs, benches and choir stalls.
Subsidiary A priest in a parish whose main responsibilities are outside of the parish (for example, educational service) or who is inactive but nevertheless undertakes in the parish certain spiritual matters in order to support the pastor.
Suffragan Bishop One who helps the bishop in the consecration ceremony. May also be assigned other responsibilities in certain tasks or regions providing independent care as a continual representative of the bishop.
Suffragan Bishopric A bishopric which is administered independently by a bishop, but also a part of a church province under the supervision of an archbishop (Metropolitan).
Superior Leader of a community of the religious such as a monastery, nunnery, convent, abbey, etc., as well as the head of a religious order or congregation.
Support In Gothic architecture the long, thin column or half-column on walls and pillars which correspond to the arch or the ribs of vaults, or the profiles of arcades.
SVD Abbreviation for the "Kongregation der Steyler Missionare", i.e. the Congregation of the Steyler Missionaries.
Synod An assembly of the clergy of a particular church, nation, province, or diocese (sometimes with representatives of the laity) for discussing ecclesiastical affairs.
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Tabernacle 1. Shrine on the altar table which holds the Eucharist. 2. Decorated house-like structure made of columns and a roof, often with a statue. Often it is the same like a BALDACHIN.
Te Deum A sung prayer existing since the 5th century after Christ.
Temporalia Temporal (worldly) earthly items belonging to the Church.
Tessera (Tesserae) The designation since Late Antiquity for the singular pieces in a mosaic. With floor mosaics often made of stone; with wall and vault mosaics of Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages often made of glass, among other materials.
Tiara From the Phrygia, a high ovate-cylindrical or dome-shaped diadem worn by the pope during coronations and other ceremonies.
Titular Bishop Catholic bishop deriving his title from an ancient diocese lost to the control of the Roman pontificate. Suffragan bishops and Papal legates are often titular bishops.
Tomb A cubic structure often with a covering slap and a reclining figure. The actual remains of the deceased are not found inside the tomb, rather underneath.
Tracery Gothic decoration drawn and measured with a compass, tracery was first used in the chevet windows at the cathedral of Reims. Later this decoration was used in all areas of Gothic art.
Tracery Bridge A second zone of tracery in the middle of a window.
Trachyte A grey or reddish volcanic stone. Trachyte slabs are used as the construction material for the burial vault for the Frankish graves underneath the Cathedral.
Transept An aisle in a church which runs perpendicular to the axis of the nave and choir. The vaulted square, the point where the transept and nave cross, is the crossing. The sections which connect to the crossing are the transept arms. When the transept is not at the same height as the vaults, then it is called a TRANSEPT AISLE.
Transept An aisle in a church which runs perpendicular to the axis of the nave and choir. The vaulted square, the point where the transept and nave cross, is the crossing. The sections which connect to the crossing are the transept arms. When the transept is not at the same height as the vaults, then it is called a TRANSEPT AISLE.
Transept Aisle An aisle in a church which runs perpendicular to the axis of the nave and choir. The vaulted square, the point where the transept and nave cross, is the crossing. The sections which connect to the crossing are the transept arms. When the transept is not at the same height as the vaults, then it is called a transept aisle.
Transverse Arch The arch which divides two vaults and forms the vault bay. In a Gothic vault, the transverse arch is the one without a keystone.
Trappists (OCR) 1664, order founded for the return to the Cistercian ideal in the monastery La Trappe; they carry this name since 1902. Trappists strive for intensive prayer, ascetic life, continual silence and manual labor. The general abbot of the Trappists has his seat in Rome. The Order has developed since 1796. They wear white garbs with a black throw having a hood, plus a white belt.
Trefoil A tracery form made of three circles placed next to each other.
Triforium The middle level of a Gothic cathedral which is located between the arcade at the ground level and the upper level clerestory (area with windows). In the Cologne Cathedral the arcade and the clerestory each take up 3/7ths of the entire elevation while the triforium takes up 1/7th.
Triple Choir (Clover-leaf Choir) A typical choir form, also found in the Late Romanesque churches in Cologne. Around the square of the crossing there are three half circles placed on its three sides. The fourth side connects the nave.
Tubulous A tube in the walls of a Roman structure with whose help the upper areas of a room can be warmed through the exhaust of a hypocaust.
Tufa Stone Block In the quarry a pre-worked stone, often marked in the format of a brick as a hand-block. The material from the Eifel region near Cologne is easily worked.
Tympanum The arches area above a door which is often decorated with stone-carved images.
Typology From Greek, typos = model, the teachings of the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. In this relationship the events of the Old Testament are studied and viewed as the precursors or the "proto-types" for events in the New Testament.
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Unicorn A mythological animal which in Christian thought is a symbol for the purity and chastity of the Virgin Mary.
Ursuline (OSU) A religious order of nuns, established under the rule of St. Augustine in 1572 from a company founded at Brescia in 1537, for the teaching of girls.
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Vacant Seat The time between the departure of one bishop from office and the arrival of his successor.
Vanitas From Latin, "vanity". Still life with objects which have symbolic meaning for the past and earthly reminders.
Vatican During the Roman times the Vatican was the designation for an area on the other side of the Tiber in Rome where executions and burials took place. According to tradition Peter was executed here and a memorial place was therefore established. In 1278 Pope Nicholas III (1277-1280) build a Papal residence near this church. This residence of the popes became the Vatican Palace.
Vatican City "Lo Stato della Città del Vaticano" which translates into Vatican City or Vatican State. The temporal state established by the Lateran Treaty from February 11, 1929, comprising the area immediately surrounding the Vatican Palace in Rome and headed by the Pope. The current city encompasses an area of 0.440 sq. m. plus different extra-territorial holdings such as the Papal residence Castel Gandolfo and other buildings in Rome.
VDD "Verband der Diözesen Deutschlands" (Association of the Dioceses of Germany). Let by the German Bishop's Conference, a body formed in 1968 which promotes awareness of common tasks in legal and economic issues for the German Dioceses.
Vestments The festive clothing for clerics.
Vicar One who takes the place of, or acts as the representative of another: for example, a parish vicar (chaplain), a bishop's vicar (suffragan bishop or general vicar).
Vincentian (CM) Also known as the Lazarists, a congregation established in 1624 by Vincent of Paul in Paris to provide spiritual service, mission work and education of priests.
Vita The history or narrative of a person's life.
Volute A snail- or swirl-like decoration.
Votive From Latin (ex voto = related to praise), a celebratory gift offering to thank for aid given while in need, danger, sickness, etc.
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Winged Altar Between the 14th-16th centuries a common altar construction, carved or painted, to whose central immovable section moveable side panels are added.
Winged Man Symbol for the Evangelist Michael.
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Zinc Zinc, hard, bluish-white metal used in alloys and in coating iron sheets to give protection against rust.
Kulturstiftung Kölner Dom Das Generationenprojekt 11.000 Sterne für den Kölner Dom ZENTRAL-DOMBAU-VEREIN ZU KÖLN VON 1842 DOMKLOSTER 4